Son of a gun

“Is that your son?” a woman asks W at the family reunion.

She’s talking about me. I am sitting next to W at a long table. I am wearing a pair of tan cargo shorts and a navy blue T-shirt.

“No, that’s my partner,” W says.

I brush it off like a crumb.

Later that night, I ask W how it made her feel.

“Old,” she says.

“Old that you have a 47-year-old son?”

We both laugh at the ridiculousness of that statement.  A 43-year-old woman with a 47-year-old son.

W doesn’t look old.

She has a few streaks of gray that look silver in the light.

I think her grays make her look sexy.

Sometimes when she tilts her head just the right way in the sunlight, I remember that she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

*  * *

Has this ever happened to you?  What is your partner’s typical response? 


22 responses to “Son of a gun

  1. I think this is just what happens to us butches… I’ll always look 12. Damn cargo shorts! (Which I’m wearing right now btw).

  2. Ahh the assumptions of appearances.

  3. When I dated my ex, people would often comment that he was robbing the cradle robbing. He just laughed it off, sometimes he got a kick out it. One time I asked him in to a store with me because I forgot my id and wanted some lottery tickets.

  4. I’ve been asked if my sister is my daughter. My husband has been asked if I am *his* daughter. I’ve been places with my mother where people think we are partners. I’ve gone to dinner with my dad and had the waitstaff assume I am his wife. o_O

    Apparently I can pass for any age between 25 and 55, and I’m not an easy one to peg.

    And that’s okay with me. 🙂

  5. I had a little boy we stopped to buy lemonade from ask if I was my partners mom…. I’m 24, she’s 25. I said no. The little boy then asked if I was her aunt. I replied with something like that. Of course my she got a good laugh out of the whole incident. It must be a butch thing to look younger.

  6. urbanmythcafe

    People’s confusion over gender becomes channeled as confusion over age. A few years ago, I was carded for a glass of wine. It was easy to get a big head about it.
    My payback was the next morning when they gave me the senior discount at the diner.
    Seriously, this whole thing already bugs my wife. I am already a couple of years younge than her. I try not to look younger. But I still get identified as either her daughter or son once in a while.

    • Hmmm, is that what it is? People can’t tell if we are a male or female and end up being so thrown off that they can’t tell whether we are 17 or 77? Just weird, if you ask me.

  7. Femme Fairy Godmother

    About 5 years ago, for a hot minute (about a month) I dated a butch who was 20 years younger than I am. Our server at a restaurant was flirting wildly with her. When M went to the bathroom, the server asked if she could have “my son’s phone number.” Um,. first of all fruit loop, you don’t ask someone’s mother for their phone number and secondly SHE is my DATE. That server surprised me: she cracked up and said something along the lines of, “Well, that’s what I get for flirting at work!” We got great service after that.

  8. All the time. It used to bother her that people take me for a guy, but she has made her peace with it. It is usually assumed I am Donna’s nephew or son (she is 26 years older than me). She is pissed off that no one assumes I am her boyfriend or husband. It would make her a cougar, instead of an older lesbian.

    • Cougar is way sexier than older lesbian. I guess our partners have to get used to these things just like we do. I never really considered how W felt about it until this post.

  9. butchcountry67

    about 5 years ago a cashier at a safeway thought my wife was my daughter and our son was my grandson ! that’s a mighty fine how do ya do for the old ego lol , I was 42 and my wife was 35, our son was 8 , it was 1 of the few times I was struck speechless lol

    • Wow. Yeah, that’ll keep you humble. Not sure what you say to that. Probably just take your groceries and get out of Dodge. People should probably open up their mouths way less. Hey, we are the same age, by the way.

  10. My partner was asked if she was my mother once. We get sisters frequently, but she was totally asked if she was my mother once. We still joke about it. It was awkward and weird at the time same time. We were in our twenties at the time, so I can’t imagine what that means for how we look! Though, I am still carded for things at 30!

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